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Rep. Cicilline Condemns Kessab Attacks

WASHINGTON—Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) condemned the “brutal assault” on Kessab that harks back to “the early days of the Armenian Genocide under Ottoman rule nearly 100 years ago,” in a statement received by the Armenian Weekly.

Rep. Cicilline

Rep. Cicilline

“I will work with my colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to help find a diplomatic solution to this crisis and ensure that Armenians of Kessab and Aleppo can return to their peaceful lives.”

Last week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was joined by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), Armenian Genocide Resolution Lead Sponsors David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Representatives Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and James McGovern (D-Mass.) in condemning the recent attacks against the historically Armenian city of Kessab, Syria, urging the State Department to investigate the incursion and take immediate action to safeguard the vulnerable population, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Below is the full text of Rep. Cicilline’s statement, issued on April 2.

“I join my colleagues in Congress in condemning attacks on the Syrian Armenian population in Kessab by extremist fighters connected to al-Qaeda. On March 21, al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists out of Turkey attacked the peaceful Christian-Armenian community in a town that has served as a place of refuge for those trying desperately to escape the bloodshed of the past three years. This brutal assault is yet another consequence of the increasingly dangerous violence in Syria that leaves innocent civilians with no choice but to again flee as they have already done from their homes in Aleppo.

“This war and the escalating brutality in the past months have put far too many innocent civilians at risk and I am deeply troubled that recent events including mass exoduses and violent strikes upon the peaceful Armenian communities hark back to the early days of the Armenian Genocide under Ottoman rule nearly 100 years ago. No innocent civilian in any part of the world should be targeted because of their ancestry, ethnicity or religion, and I want to work with my colleagues to find a way to bring an end to such brutal attacks and the increasingly violent civil war ravaging the region that has left over 100,000 dead and forced over 2 million to flee their homes and communities. I will work with my colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to help find a diplomatic solution to this crisis and ensure that Armenians of Kessab and Aleppo can return to their peaceful lives.”

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